Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Ibadan | 6 August 2014 | 3,498 times
Veteran politician and former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has dismissed as unnecessary the outcry in some quarters over the use of soldiers in the recent Ekiti governorship election and their imminent use in the Saturday (August 9) governorship ballot in Osun.
The Accord Party Leader, while speaking with newsmen in his Bodija residence in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, submitted that the use of military men to monitor elections in Nigeria is not new in Nigeria, saying that it is necessary to protect lives and properties.
Ladoja said that those crying against the deployment of soldiers for the Ekiti and Osun governorship polls might have forgotten that the General Officer Commanding 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, gave evidence at the Election Petition Tribunal in 2007.
He emphasised that soldiers have always supervised elections in Nigeria and that there is nothing new about the strategy.
On how the deployment of soldiers during next year’s general elections might affect the results in Oyo State, Senator Ladoja said: “Whatever happens in Osun and Ekiti cannot happen in Oyo State. Where will you get five policemen, two soldiers to man one polling booth during 2015 general elections?”
“Also, the deluge of people moving around will not happen because all politicians will be in their states fighting for survival. So this should not disturb us. They are used because they are available and to tell the world that Nigeria can conduct free and fair elections. But we should get to a stage where we can monitor our elections by ourselves. That is my hope for this country.”
•Photo shows Senator Ladoja.
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